Mark Steyn quipped:
With the benefit of hindsight, it should have been obvious that the first female imam would be an Episcopalian...
Ah, if only he were joking! He wrote in response to this news story:
Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.
On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.
She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.
Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.
Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim..?
She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word "Islam."
"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.
"I could not not be a Muslim..."
Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.
Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds
Perryville Times writes about how we have set ourselves up for this sort theological disaster:
The way these folks think is rather agnostic in that they believe that God cannot be fully known in this life. They seem to believe that all the various spiritual activities recorded by humanity are efforts by God to commune with humanity. This notion is consistent with the idea I have often heard from preachers that God reveals himself to humans at the level we are able to understand him, exemplified in the nation of Israel's Old Testament history. It is not a far step from that sort of thinking to believing that any sort of spirituality, whether revelatory or not, is as valid as any other.
And Jeff the Baptist reminds us that this degree of blatant syncretism is nothing new in the ECUSA, which includes ordained ministers serving as druids on the side.